Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hamilton on Silverstone Podium: “The Safety Car came at a beneficial moment for us”

Lewis Hamilton admitted he lucked in with the timing of the safety car during Sunday’s British Grand Prix, but the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver was delighted to finish on the podium in front of his home fans.

Hamilton was able to make up four places from his grid position to take third place at Silverstone, although he was unable to find a way ahead of McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris after the safety car restart despite being on the more favourable tyre.

It was another good race in what has been a very up and down 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, with the seven-time World Champion hoping the team can be more consistently challenging at the front of the field if they can solve the unstable rear end of the W14.

“The Safety Car came at a beneficial moment for us but ultimately, that was the plan starting on the Medium tyre,” said Hamilton. “We wanted to go long, and we did; it came at the right time, and we made some gains.

“For us to get on the podium is huge. It’s been an up-and-down season and we’ve still got a lot of work to do with our car. We’ve got strengths with it, particularly our long run.

“George had a great stint on the Soft tyre and mine on the Medium was really good too. As soon as we can improve the rear end we will be on our way. We just need to hold on to the good bits and add a few others.”

Hamilton was full of praise for the fans in attendance at Silverstone, and he feels the support gets better each year at a venue that always puts on an amazing show.

“Finally, the support from the fans has been incredible and it gets better each and every year,” he added.  “I don’t know how that is possible as it’s the pinnacle!

“The energy that everyone brings is phenomenal. Once again, Silverstone put on an amazing show.”

“We wanted to be aggressive today” – George Russell

Team-mate George Russell finished fifth, with the British racer taking the gamble to start the race on the soft tyre, however it was difficult to overtake Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc

Unlike Hamilton, he pitted prior to the safety car interruption and as a result lost more time than his team-mate, with Russell saying the timing of it was unfortunate.

However, he was happy only to lose one place because of it, but he was unable to do anything about McLaren’s Oscar Piastri after the restart despite being on the medium tyre opposed to the hard compound the Australian was using.

“We wanted to be aggressive today and we had the chance to split the strategies,” said Russell.  “The Soft tyre felt really strong in that first stint but unfortunately, it was very difficult to overtake Leclerc.

“There was some questionable defending at points but in the end, I managed to get past. Having stopped for the Medium tyre, it was unfortunate timing with the Safety Car. Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes against you.

“Ultimately though, we only lost one position and without it, I still wouldn’t have ended up on the podium. It didn’t change a huge amount for my race, and we can take the positives that for the Team, it is good points in the Constructors’ Championship.”

George Russell finished fifth at Silverstone – Credit: LAT Images